Program & fronting specialist Obsidian gets A- rating for E&S lines carrier

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Obsidian Insurance Holdings, Inc., a recently launched program and fronting insurance holding company, has announced the A- A.M. Best rating of its excess and surplus (E&S) lines carrier.

obsidian-insurance-frontingObsidian Specialty Insurance Company was recently formed to help Obsidian expand its offering, which sees the company fronting insurance programs for a range of reinsurance capital providers. A.M. Best has now given the E&S carrier an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating.

Obsidian Specialty Insurance Company was set up in Delaware as a domestic surplus lines insurer, capitalised with a $30 million cash contribution from Obsidian itself, and intends to operate on a countrywide basis in the United States.

Obsidian said that the E&S lines addition strengthens its strategic position as a leading program fronting carrier serving Managing General Agents, Managing General Underwriters, and Program Managers.

The launch of this E&S carrier was a direct response to hardening rates in the E&S market, Obsidian said, as well as an increase in overall MGA activity in the E&S market.

William Jewett, Chief Executive Officer of Obsidian, commented, “Obsidian Specialty continues to build a truly differentiated hybrid program carrier, and the addition of surplus lines capabilities represents a significant step in our development. It is important that Obsidian offer a full suite of capabilities and supporting services as we partner with best-in-class MGAs and program managers.”

Obsidian launched as a partnership between leading insurance industry executives and Genstar Capital, aiming to source, underwrite, and manage a diverse portfolio of property, casualty, and specialty insurance programs, with the majority of the risk reinsured to select providers of reinsurance capital.

Obsidian launched in March with $100 million of capital and a goal to become a conduit to connect risk with reinsurance and alternative capital, with alternative reinsurance capital targeted as one of the destinations for the risks it would reinsure from programs it underwrites.

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